Dan Kapanke, Republican candidate for Congress in Wisconsin's Third Congressional District, announced today that he was shocked by the recent article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel detailing a pay-to-play scandal with Congressman Ron Kind.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel detailed disturbing revelations that the 13-year Congressman charged a group of doctors $10,000 for a meeting. The purpose of the meeting, according to the article, was to address concerns the doctors had about a health care bill.
"If these accusations are true, it is disturbing," said Dan Kapanke. "A Congressman is the servant of the people, not the other way around. If I am elected to Congress, I can guarantee that a constituent meeting with me will not come with a bill due at the end."
The story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel details an incident where a group of doctors at the Oakleaf Clinic in Eau Claire, WI requested a meeting with Congressman Kind to discuss the CHAMP Act, a bill being considered in Congress that would affect how doctors interact with government health care programs. It was at this meeting that Congressman Kind allegedly demanded payment for his time. A memo circulated through the clinic to the doctors states that "campaign contributions are part of participation in the political process and critical to gaining the access and influence we need."
One of the doctors, Michael Smith said "I don't know the legalities, but this is an official elected to represent us. What does this mean - if I don't have the money that he won't even meet with me to hear my side of an important issue for our district?"
Another surgeon at the physician-owned facility maintains in his sworn statement that an unnamed Kind aide explained that the veteran politician "typically requires a contribution of $10,000 for a 1-2 hour meeting and $25,000 for a half day."